I live in Stroke-Limbo

4 March 2019

I've suffered a brain injury and I have brain damage. That's something that I still can't get over saying; for me, brain damage and brain injuries were caused by things, things like accidents and traumas, actual traumas, the kind that hurt, that you feel and that are worse than the aftermath but that's not the case with Strokes. Strokes are sly, they sneak up on you, get you and within minutes of causing often pain-fee havoc, they leave you traumatised and injured. The real damage that Strokes cause happens afterwards, when your life is completely changed, your body doesn't work and you have no control over your emotions but somehow, (if you can of course) you have to muddle through and find a way of coping. 

I'm in Stroke-limbo at the moment, whilst the consultants are pretty confident that the pill caused the blood clot that caused the Stroke, I still have to undergo heart tests the ensure there's no underlying heart condition that could've been the cause of the stroke and cause another and that's terrifying; the thought of being a ticking time-bomb with the potential of it happening again brings on actual anxiety, not the trendy glamorised blogger type of anxiety. The thought of it happening again at all can easily send me into a state of panic, I think about how much damage the next one would do, would I be able to talk? walk? would I get locked in?* would I even survive?.  The slightest headache, sensation of pins and needles and general feeling of being unwell makes me want to call 999, I've cried to Luke too many times about my fears of it happening again and not much can ease my mind at the moment aside from the fact that the Clopidogrel is preventing me from having another stroke no matter what the cause was.

I'm half way through my first round of Clopidogrel, I suffered some side-effects to start with such as light headedness and a bit of nausea but this soon wore off and I think I've got used to them now. I don't like being on medication that could be keeping me alive, it makes me feel uneasy. I've never been in this situation before, I've been fortunate enough to just be able to live before this. I didn't have to rely on any medication (aside from the Pill) and being so reliant on something makes me worry about missing doses, overdosing, losing the drugs and then I wonder how ling I'll be on them for, what I can and cannot do whilst on them such as surgery, pregnancy, childbirth. How much is my life going to revolve around this medicine and for how long? Questions that no one can answer yet. 

I've been an emotional wreck at home, I'm cracking on and always finding a joke in the situation but the truth is...I'm angry, I'm angry this happened to me, I'm angry that I can't feel all my face or my finger tips. I'm self-conscious of my face, wary of exercising or being close to Luke. I'm scared I'll die, I want to see Freddie grow up, I want to have more kids, I want to have more adventures. I'm angry that I've been forced to question all these things, I keep lashing out and having a pop at Luke, I can be snappy with my Mum because as much as I am doing a great job and just getting on with life, there's always a reminder that everything is different now; the exhaustion, the way my eye blurs when I'm tired, when food slips out of the numb side of my mouth, the fact that I still can't feel all my teeth and my bloody forgetfulness. 

I'm angry and I'm sad that my life won't ever be the same again; the life I knew died with the bit of my brain that was deprived of oxygen. I was really enjoying life as well, I'd sorted out my work pattern so that I could spend more time with Freddie and find a better balance. Things were looking up and then it was all taken away from me in a matter of minutes and it's not like I did anything to deserve it, I took a pill that millions of other women are taking, I don't do drugs I don't drink excessively and I live a healthy balanced lifestyle but typical me had to get struck down by this. 

Despite everything above, I'm hopeful. I've started my new life now, as a Stroke Survivor, as someone who suffered a brain injury and as someone with brain damage and I'm grateful for every day I have. I don't know what my life will be like in the future because stroke-limbo won't let me make plans yet but when I'm out of it I'm going to make the most of it and plan new adventures, new challenges and cherish every moment that I have with my family. 

*Read about Locked In Syndrome here 

Photos courtesy of Rhiannon Fox 

1 comment

  1. Issy you gem, I have no idea how you are managing through this. Strokes are SHIT. Your brain is going to recover, its smart, people can continue with only half their brain, and the docs will be taking good care of you - so physically you have got this down, but emotionally.... I have no idea how to fix that, other than talking about it. You know im here if you ever need a chat, and lets be fair, I'm catching your next baby so i'll need some more time training first - don't stress about babies, your young, you have lots of time, recover first - stop putting so much pressure on yourself! <3

    Erin || MakeErinOver


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